New insights into development of the human immune system
Mylan Inc. has announced that its subsidiary Dey L.P. has been issued several additional U.S. patents protecting the company’s Perforomist(R) Inhalation Solution, a chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) treatment. U.S. Patent No. 7,462,645 was issued Dec. 9, 2008, and is directed to treatment through the administration of a ready-to-use, storage stable composition of formoterol. This
Full Post: Dey L.P. issued new U.S. patents for Perforomist inhalation solution
A UCSF study has found that a surprisingly high number of maternal cells enters the fetus during pregnancy, prompting the generation of special immune cells in the fetus that suppress a response against the mother.
Such peaceful co-existence represents a form of “tolerance,” or the way in which the immune system of one individual is able to live side-by-side with foreign objects (or “antigens”) that come from elsewhere. The new finding may be important for areas of medical research ranging from stem cell transplantation to the way in which the body can adapt to the presence of chronic infectious agents.
In previous studies, the same UCSF research team found that the human fetal immune system is made up of many special immune cells, known as regulatory T cells. In the new study, the researchers focused on trying to understand why this might be so. They found that cells from the mother cross the placenta into the fetus during the course of pregnancy, inducing the generation of so-called “regulatory T cells” that help to enforce a state of tolerance between the fetus and the mother.
“These results provide one potential explanation for the longstanding observation that many individuals demonstrate some level of immunological tolerance towards unshared maternal HLA antigens,” said lead author, Jeff Mold, a biomedical sciences graduate student in the UCSF Division of Experimental Medicine.
The findings, published in the December 5th issue of Science , are important because they define a previously-unrecognized pathway for the development of tolerance in humans, according to the research team. This is an active area of current medical research because the mechanisms governing tolerance are important for understanding and managing autoimmune diseases, in which the body attacks its own cells, and organ transplant rejection, in which the body rejects the transplanted tissue, they add.
The findings also raise an intriguing question in regard to HIV, said senior study author Joseph M. McCune, MD, PhD, chief of the UCSF Division of Experimental Medicine: if cells from the mother can move across the placenta and induce fetal tolerance during pregnancy, what would happen if infectious agents such as HIV did the same thing?
“Only 5 to 10 percent of babies born to untreated HIV-infected mothers in the absence of antiretroviral interventions are born infected with HIV. Perhaps some aspect of the immunological tolerance of the fetal immune system explains how the baby could avoid HIV infection in utero,” McCune noted.
In this respect, he added, the study opens up new research directions that could be important for the creation of effective HIV vaccines.
Co-authors include Jakob Michaelsson from the Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm; Trevor D. Burt from the UCSF Department of Pediatrics; Marcus O. Muench, Michael P. Busch, and Tzong-Hae Lee from Blood Systems Research Institute; Karen P. Beckerman from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; and Douglas F. Nixon from the UCSF Division of Experimental Medicine.
Researchers at the University of Toronto and the University of California, San Francisco, have revealed new hope for HIV treatment with the discovery of a way to ‘rescue’ immune cells that are exhausted from fighting off HIV infection. The team lead by Drs. Mario Ostrowski, of the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Medicine, and Douglas
Full Post: Cells exhausted from fighting HIV infection can be rescued
Cigarette smoking during pregnancy is associated with potentially harmful changes in both maternal and fetal thyroid function, according to a new study accepted for publication in The Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism ( JCEM ). “We studied the influence of cigarette smoking on thyroid function of two groups of women at different
Full Post: Smoking during pregnancy impacts thyroid function of mother and fetus
A study in rats shows that exposure to a high-fat diet during pregnancy produces permanent changes in the offspring’s brain that lead to overeating and obesity early in life, according to new research by Rockefeller University scientists. This surprising finding, reported in the Nov. 12 issue of the Journal of Neuroscience , provides a key
Full Post: High-fat diet during pregnancy makes new cells in fetal brain that cause early onset obesity
Rats whose mothers were fed alcohol during pregnancy are more attracted to the smell of liquor during puberty. Researchers writing in BioMed Central’s open access journal Behavioral and Brain Functions have shown that rats exposed during gestation find the smell of alcohol on another rat’s breath during adolescence more attractive than animals with no prior
Full Post: Important relationship between fetal and adolescent alcohol experiences
A course of water aerobics classes has been shown to reduce the amount of pain-killing medication women request during labor. Research published in BioMed Central’s open access journal Reproductive Health has shown that, as well as being safe, the gentle exercise has the benefit of making it easier to give birth. Rosa Pereira led a
Full Post: Water aerobics make it easier to give birth